The online wellbeing hub which enables Surrey residents to access a range of mental health and emotional wellbeing sessions virtually from the comfort of their own home has run more than 650 sessions since its launch in May.
Surrey Virtual Wellbeing is a one-stop-shop where those who require mental health or emotional wellbeing support can view, register and access online activities including virtual coffee mornings, group chat sessions, Mindfulness and tailored exercise classes.
The Hub hosts a range of activities and support sessions from Surrey third sector organisations including Community Connections (Richmond Fellowship, Catalyst, Mary Frances Trust and their partners), Age UK Surrey and The Surrey Coalition of Disabled People.
Since its launch, 75% of users say they would use it again or recommend it to a friend.
As a joint partnership between Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership, Surrey County Council and Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the initiative is one of a number of measures which was introduced to support the most vulnerable and sometimes socially isolated residents to remain connected during COVID-19 pandemic.
Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council said “The Covid-19 pandemic has created many challenges, including how residents continue to access support they often rely for matters such as their mental health. The online Hub has helped bring a range of interactive sessions and workshops together in one place, enabling our residents to stay connected and look after their mental wellbeing, and it’s been encouraging to see so many people take advantage of the activities on offer. As we look ahead to the winter with the added uncertainty of what our day to day lives may look like, Surrey County Council and partners continue to strive to minimise isolation, and make sure our residents know how to access mental health support if they need it.”
Professor Helen Rostill, Director of Mental Health at Surrey Heartlands and Chief Innovation Officer and Director of Therapies at Surrey and Borders Partnership, said: “I am delighted to see the hub attract so many users during its first few months of operation. Our initial aim was to connect Surrey residents with emotional wellbeing support from third sector organisations in our area – and then linking this with the wealth of wider information for vulnerable people and key workers already available on the Healthy Surrey website. The next step will be to explore how we can expand on this to include other mental health services such as talking therapies.”
Residents can access the hub by visiting the Healthy Surrey website at healthysurrey.org.uk/virtualwellbeing. Here people can view the range of classes and register their interest, and a member of the organisation running the session will get in touch to finalise details. People can self-refer, or be referred by someone else.
Those who are unable to access the online service, can access emotional wellbeing support through a free, 24 hour confidential helpline on 0808 802 5000 (in high demand periods an answerphone system may be in place) or by SMS Text 07537 432411 (staffed Monday to Friday 9am-2pm).